The Southeast FCA sponsor knew one of her student-athletes was going to receive an honor during Thursday’s Fall Sports Banquet and Award Presentation at Southeast High School. She was unaware that there was another award.
After the Cross Country, Football and Volleyball teams presented their team awards Gary Larson went to the podium. Larson is the South East Kansas Representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which has 47 groups – “Huddles” at area schools.
“The coach has to recommend a student and then we go before my board and we vote to select an Athlete of the Month, both male and female,” Larson told the audience. “We also select a Huddle of the Month, which is a school that is doing something exceptional.”
It was a comment said calmly, and is one that nobody noticed.
Larson then presented Southeast High School senior basketball player Melanie Hartman with the October Female Athlete of the Month for Southeast Kansas, sponsored by the FCA and Community National Bank.
Larson read the letter Southeast FCA sponsor Laney Lawson had submitted:
“Melanie has stepped up and taken the role of leader even when she wasn’t in FCA last year. She comes prepared with the devotion every time we meet and is always ready to do anything that I ask of her. What particularly impressed me was when it came to the day of our Fields of Faith she volunteered to be the emcee and she led the night fearlessly by praying, introducing speakers, and thanking all that came. She even went around to see if people needed help and made sure things were taken care of when I wasn’t around to do it. She’s been a leader in and out of FCA and it would be a complete and deserving honor for her to get selected for this award.”
On October 14 the Southeast FCA led the Fields of Faith fellowship held at Carnie Smith Stadium on the campus of Pittsburg State University. Larson said he was there that night, “and it was amazing by the way.”
“I kept a little secret that nobody else in this room knows about, but there is a second award that I’m going to give out today and that award is for the SEK FCA Huddle of the Month.”
Larson then presented Coach Lawson with a plaque as well.
“Laney came on board and kind of took on the role of leading this Huddle, wasn’t sure what she was doing, and she was nervous,” Larson said. “I could tell (at the first meeting) that there were some special kids in this school. There was an opportunity for a really neat Huddle, and this school has always had a really great huddle. They’ve done the Fields of Faith at Pitt State for several years, but this year, at that Fields of Faith, we drew the largest crowd we’ve ever seen on a Wednesday night on the football field at Pittsburg State University – we had over 375 kids. The band was amazing. The speakers were amazing and I just felt like this Huddle stepped out in the second month of a new Huddle coach and trying to go a new direction, they stepped out and just blew it out of the park with an amazing event over there. There really wasn’t a whole lot of competition this month for the Huddle of the Month.”
Larson said a PSU official recently told him it was the best Fields of Faith event they had ever had.
The band Ozark Christian College’s “Frontline” performed and guest speakers were Pittsburg Community Middle School 8th grader Brody Arck, PSU baseball player Dylan Donley and Cherokee Baptist Church youth leader Amanda Tate.
“It was really great,” Coach Lawson said of the event. “There were so many kids. It was unreal.”
The Huddle of the Month and the Athlete of the Month awards are sponsored by Community National Bank.